Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
Opposition parties in Abia State under the umbrella of the Interparty Advisory Council (IPAC) yesterday declared that the December 17 date for the local government election was not feasible as the parties needed more days to adequately prepare for the contest.
Specifically, IPAC demanded that the Abia State Independent Electoral Commission (ABSIEC) should extend the election date by two weeks by which time the parties would have sorted out all issues arising from their primaries.
Chairman of IPAC, Chief Emeka Okafor, made the demands at a press conference in Umuahia, alleging that the state electoral body was not carrying the opposition parties along and even shortened the preparation time needed by the parties.
He said while the decision of Abia government to hold the council election was laudable, ABSIEC was making it appear as if it was in a hurry to get done with the poll even if the preparation was poor.
“Council elections should not be rushed”, he said, adding that presently the parties were yet to carry out proper grassroots mobilisation hence the need for more time.
According to him, the local government poll, which has not been held in Abia for six years now should not be treated with levity now that the exercise is going to be conduct hence the need to do proper job by ABSIEC.
Okafor, who is also the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), noted that democratically elected government was very crucial for rural development and if things must be done properly the political parties should not rushed into taking hasty
The IPAC chairman further said that the group was dissatisfied with the outrageous fees that ABSIEC was charging candidates for its forms, which has considerably caused financial strains on the candidates and candidates in view of the poor state of the economy.
However he was not forthcoming on if IPAC would boycott the council poll if its demands were not met, saying that if they failed to have their way the IPAC executives would take a decision on the next line of action.